07 December, 2007

Teaching Drivers About Transit and Trains

This photo from a Colombian Tourist Train, demonstrates the complete distain some people have for those old railroad crossing. As Mass Transit takes root around the globe, these tragic scenes will become more common place unless we work to inform drivers of the dangers of "playing with trains".

In this case the railroad is very modern, diesel powered and carrys large freights of coal from the mines, to various utilities, and for export. Nobody pays much attention to the "cute" weekend service for trourists using one of the old American made, Baldwin steam engines.
In this case the milk delivery truck simply decided he was bigger and faster, a fatal mistake. No truck, no automobile and certainly no pedestrian is the equal to 300,000 pounds of locomotive. Had the train been modern transit, Light Rail, or one of Colombia's modern European type passenger trains, the results would have been similar. If ever in doubt, just remember the rules, STOP - LOOK - LISTEN.


The arguments rage to this date, "Should have never been built," "waste of taxpayer money," "Doesn't go anywhere," "Nobody rides it..." etc. Bottom line is we have it, and it is finally showing signs of life. Simple extensions to the Stadium, San Marco, and the area of Blue Cross in North Riverside would turn this little train around. Addition of Park and Ride garages and multimodal transit terminals at the end points would bring on the crowds. The video must have been shot on a Sunday Morning, as downtown is certainly as packed with life as any other major City on weekdays. Jacksonville is a city of Bikes, joggers, walkers, buses and cars, one almost wonders how the photographer managed to find this quiet moment.

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